Tourism Ministry extends validity of licence for tour operators to 5 years

Tiong (centre) receives a token of appreciation during the opening ceremony of the MATTA Fair 2023 in Kuala Lumpur on March 17, 2023. Photo credit: Tiong on Facebook

KUCHING, March 20: The Malaysian Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) has agreed to extend the validity period of licences for tour operators and guides from three to five years.

The announcement was made by Minister Dato Sri Tiong King Sing during the opening ceremony of the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) Fair 2023 in Kuala Lumpur last Friday (March 17).

He said MOTAC is always finding ways to make it easier for operators to conduct business and compete in the regional travel and tourism industry.

“One of the ways is to study improvements to the travel agency license, including the validity period. One way could be to make the license ‘for life’ but subject to regular review.

“If the license holder violates the license terms, we will send a ‘love letter’ (warning letter) and review the license.

“(It is the) same for spas, wellness centres, and hotels. We will continue to allow their licenses for five years at a time. We will ensure that the renewal process will not take more than two weeks so there won’t be any disruptions to their businesses,” he said in a Facebook post after the event.

On a related note, Tiong said MOTAC is reviewing the rating system for hotels and food and beverage outlets to improve how the ministry determines the quality of these cornerstones of the tourism industry.

“In this spirit, hotels and food and beverage (F&B) outlets must ensure that they provide and maintain the quality and standards expected of their star ratings.

“No place can be complacent after being given a rating and not maintaining their standards. This includes but is not limited to room and toilet cleanliness, age of facilities, and product and service quality,” he added. — DayakDaily